mental indigestion

Z is Zing Went the Strings of My Heart April 30, 2016

Filed under: A-Z Challenge — mel @ 9:00 am
Tags: , , ,

Dear when you smiled at me, I heard a melody
It haunted me from the start
Something inside of me started a symphony
Zing! Went the strings of my heart

‘Twas like a breath of spring, I heard a robin sing
About a nest set apart
All nature seemed to be in perfect harmony
Zing! Went the strings of my heart

Your eyes made skies seem blue again
What else could I do again
But keep repeating through and through
“I love you, love you”

I still recall the thrill, I guess I always will
I hope ’twill never depart
I knew I love you heaps, and you were mine for keeps
Zing! Went the strings of my heart

Whenever John fell in love, he would hear Judy Garland break into a rousing rendition of “Zing went the strings of my heart” with a full orchestral back-up. At first, he thought he was going mad, or getting wonky eardrums, but a couple of check-ups with the psychiatrist and the otorhinolaryngologist showed his mental and physical capabilities to be intact.

As such, John merely accepted this as one of those mysteries of life that could actually help him demystify his search for The One. He had only heard “Zing went the strings of my heart” four times in his life so far at the ages of 15, 17, 19 and 25. These relationships had lasted at least a year each so he knew this internal soundtrack was a much more reliable mate-indicator than his testosterone.

One day, John was introduced to a new colleague, Sandy. She was the sweetest girl he had ever met, and he took whatever opportunity there was to spend time getting to know her on pretext of showing her the ropes. They got along just fine, and Sandy would even ask him to have lunch together sometimes so that was surely a good sign.

However, there was just one thing. “Zing went the strings of my heart” had yet to play in the gramophone inside John’s head and that concerned him. Once, Sandy asked him why he had this habit of hitting his head around so much and he replied “Migraine” which was so lame, but Sandy was so sweet and got him a box of Panadol Extra the following day.

John thought maybe he needed a more romantic environment for “Zing” to take place so he finally asked Sandy out for dinner one Friday night, which she agreed to. He booked a lovely little restaurant by the sea and Sandy wore a flowy red dress which make her skin glow even more than usual. They laughed and talked the night away, and it was most apparent that he adored her, and she adored him. However, there was no Zing, and John knew that there was no point leading her on. He would have to gently reject her later that night.

As they walked along the beach after dinner, shoes in their hands and the summer wind gently caressing their faces, John took a deep breath and was just about to launch into his gentlemanly break-up preamble when he heard Sandy humming something familiar.

“Hey, what’s that song?”

Sandy shook her head and giggled. “Oh, just an old fogey song my late grandfather used to play over and over again when I was a kid. It’s just that tonight kind of reminds me of this song for some strange reason. Not that I think you’re like my gramps. Just…this song has always put me in a happy mood.”

She hummed again (she had such a sweet voice) and John’s heart started beating faster.

“Hey Sandy, do you know the words of this song you’re humming? I think I might have heard it before.”

Sandy looked towards the starlit sky and sang softly, “Dear when you smiled at me/I heard a melody/it haunted me from the start/ something inside of me started a symphony/ Zing! Went the strings of my heart…”

John was so startled that he started choking.

“Oh dear, was my singing that bad?” she asked as she started whacking his back to try get him to stop coughing.

He shook his head, and held Sandy’s hand for the first time.


Y is for You Make Me Feel So Young April 29, 2016

Filed under: A-Z Challenge — mel @ 1:34 am
Tags: , , ,

You make me feel so young
You make me feel as though spring has sprung
And every time I see you grin
I’m such a happy individual

The moment that you speak
I wanna go play hide and seek
I wanna go and bounce the moon
Just like a toy balloon

You and I are just like a couple of tots
Runnin’ across the meadow
Pickin’ up lots of forget me nots

You make me feel so young
You make me feel there are songs to be sung Bells to be rung
And a wonderful spring to be sprung
And even when I’m old and grey
I’m gonna feel the way I do, today
‘Cause you make me feel so young

You make me young
You make me feel as though spring has sprung
And every time I see you grin
I’m such a happy individual

The moment that you speak
I wanna go play hide and seek
I wanna go and bounce at the moon
Like a big balloon

Because, you and I are just like a couple of tots
Runnin’ across the meadow
Grabbing up all

You make me up
You make me feel there are songs to be sung
Lots of bells to be rung
And a wonderful fling to be flung
And even when I’m old and gray
I’m gonna feel the way i do today
Cause you make me feel so
Man i just feel so
You make me feel so young
You make me feel so young
So young
You make me feel so young
You make me feel so young


Grace was busy shopping for groceries when she bumped into Hope, her best friend in elementary school.

Everyone used to say how much alike they were, that they could have been twins, but Grace knew better. Hope, while the life of any party, also had a propensity for deep-seated bitterness when things did not go her way.

Grace tried to remember why they had stopped being friends but she could no longer recall anything, it was pointless to harp on such negative memories. She knew Hope would probably make it a point to remind her.

“Hi Grace.”

“Hi Hope.”

“How have you been, Grace? You’re looking well.”

“Thank you, so are you, Hope. I have been good. Just busy with the kids. Oh yes, I got married and have three kids now. How about you?”

“Oh, I’ve been living in Nairobi for the past five years. I’m just back home for a short visit. Not sure if you’ve heard about this from the other girls, but I’ve set up an NGO there for impoverished widows and their starving children.

“That’s wonderful, Hope.” Grace wasn’t surprised.

There was a long silence as the two of them faced each other without looking at each other in the eyes.

“Hey Hope, I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch with you all these years. Yes, we may have had fallen out in the past, but we were so close as kids, and your friendship has always meant a lot to me…”

“Oh Grace, still as sweet and phony as ever, I see.” Hope rolled her eyes and was ready to roll away with her supermarket trolley.

Grace found herself brimming with tears, and she hardly ever cried.

“What are you talking about Hope? I’m trying to be the grown-up here so we can work on being friends again.” Grace suddenly remembered: Hope always made her cry when they were kids.

“Give me a break, Grace. If you really valued our friendship, you would have tried a little harder. In fact, here I was hoping that you’d try to get back in touch with me year after year, but nothing. And now, when I practically collide into you at a supermarket, you start acting all noble with your fake apologies so that you can come across as the more gracious one. As usual.”

Hope’s words stung and angered Grace but she held back her tears so as not to humiliate herself further.

“Fine, Hope. If this is how you see me, then I shan’t bother you. Have a good day.”

Hope immediately turned the other way so Grace would not see her tears of disappointment. Grace always let go of things too easily.


W is for What a Wonderful World April 27, 2016

Filed under: A-Z Challenge — mel @ 3:46 am
Tags: , , ,

I see trees of green,
red roses too.
I see them bloom,
for me and you.
And I think to myself,
what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue,
And clouds of white.
The bright blessed day,
The dark sacred night.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow,
So pretty in the sky.
Are also on the faces,
Of people going by,
I see friends shaking hands.
Saying, “How do you do?”
They’re really saying,
“I love you”.

I hear babies cry,
I watch them grow,
They’ll learn much more,
Than I’ll ever know.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

Yes, I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

Everyone tells me to climb a mountain to get over my depression.

Oh, you will feel so small being surrounded by all these giant rocks and that will miraculously snap you back to being sane again.

Oh, the sunset will be so beautiful you will weep with gratitude and everything about life will be miraculous, even a leech sucking  blood out from your ankle.

Well, I’ve been facing rocks and sunsets the past few days and I would like to report that everyone was fucking wrong.

I have greasy hair, blisters, mosquito bites, three broken toenails, and an overwhelming urge to scream at one more narcissistic ass trying to take a selfie perched on some rock to show how healthy and self-fulfilled they are.

It is all bullshit. Give me a book to read in bed any day.

This nature thing is just is. The trees are green, the skies are blue, and the earth will always look and smell shitty because there is always rotting, and dying. All these things are there not because they are meant to restore your soul, they have been there since the beginning of time.

I don’t care about what the birds are doing or what their names are, stop pointing them out to me.

Neither do I care about what shape the moon is so stop harping on that.

What? You calling me a toxic blackhole? Well, at least I don’t use a whole toilet roll every morning for a number two you tree killer. I bet that tree over there is really pissed with you right now.

God, I would give anything to have an air conditioner and a Big Gulp of icy Coke right now.


V is for (The) Very Thought of You April 26, 2016

Filed under: A-Z Challenge — mel @ 9:00 am
Tags: , , ,

I don’t need your photograph to keep by my bed
Your picture is always in my head
I don’t need you portrait, dear, to call you to mind
For sleeping or waking, dear, I find

The very thought of you
And I forget to do
The little ordinary things
That everyone ought to do

I’m living in a kind of daydream
I’m happy as a queen
And foolish though it may seem
To me that’s everything

The mere idea of you
The longing I hear for you
You’ll never know
How slow the moments go
Till I’m near to you

I see your face in every flower
Your eyes in stars above
It’s just the thought of you,
The very thought of you, my love

He had a superpower that no one knew about and he was happy to keep it that way. Whenever he missed someone, he could conjure that person up and converse with them in his bedroom.

At first, he limited it to loved ones who had died, like his Ah Mah who took care of him. Ah Mah had always doted on him so she didn’t mind being hauled up from another dimension, though she did nag a little.

“Aiyoh, boy ah, you so big already need to stand on your own two feet ok? Ah Mah cannot always be there for you, you know?” she’d mutter while stroking his cheek.

But lately, he’d discovered he could get people who were alive to come to his bedroom if they were in a deep sleep. He knew because in the wee hours of the morning, he’d call upon Nellly Lee, his favourite actress in the whole wide world a few times a week.

“Wow, this place feels so déjà vu, I’m so sure I’ve been here before,” Nelly would always mutter as she frantically scanned his bedroom. She’d then get a start because she would see him sitting by his bed, and then she would stick her finger out at him.

“You! I know you! I’ve seen you before in my other nightmares before right? Crap, I really need to change those sleeping meds.”

He also knew why she was able to nab all those Best Actress awards for her convincing crying scenes – it’s because she loved crying in real (dream) life as well.

Though he’d ideally would have liked a more two-way conversation between them, Nelly appeared to have a lot of baggage to unload and so he pretended to listened to her most of the time. She was pretty even when she cried.

He became quite fond of being personal pals with Nelly (in Sleepyland), so he became a little concerned when she didn’t appear for a few nights. Imagine his horror when he read in the papers later that Nelly Lee had attempted suicide by overdosing on strong sleeping pills and was now in a coma. Her psychiatrist, who was paid a ton of money by the newspapers to spill the beans, reported that Nelly had been complaining of repetitive dreams with a sad boy and his pet dragon, and suspected acute schizophrenia.

“When Nelly wakes up, and I’m sure she will for her fans, we will begin intensive therapy right away to ensure she will be in time to receive her award for Most Well-Loved Actress,” the report had said.

Oh no oh no, oh no, this is all my fault, he thought to himself. Later that night, he thought as hard as possible of Nelly, and she appeared with seaweed in her hair looking unusually unkempt.

“Nelly!” he cried. “Where have you been?”

She looked at him and smiled.

“Can I stay here with you forever? That way, we’ll be together all the time!”

For the first time in his life, he wished a woman wouldn’t pay so much attention to him.


U is for U Go to My Head (sorry, cheating a little) April 25, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — mel @ 9:00 am

You go to my head and you linger like a haunting refrain
And I find you spinning ’round in my brain
Like the bubbles in a glass of champagne
You go to my head like a sip of sparkling Burgundy brew
And I find the very mention of you
Like the kicker in a julep or two

The thrill of the thought that you might give a thought to my plea
Cast a spell over me
Still I say to myself get a hold of yourself
Can’t you see that it never can be

You go to my head with a smile that makes my temperature rise
Like a summer with a thousand Julys
You intoxicate my soul with your eyes
Though I’m certain that this heart of mine
Hasn’t a ghost of a chance in this crazy romance
You go to my head

The thrill of the thought that you might give a thought to my plea
Cast a spell over me
Still I say to myself get a hold of yourself
Can’t you see that it never can be

You go to my head with a smile that makes my temperature rise
Like a summer with a thousand Julys
You intoxicate my soul with your eyes
Though I’m certain that this heart of mine
Hasn’t a ghost of a chance in this crazy romance

Flamingo Bar: a musty, seedy place with shaky neon blue lights, wobbly stools and peanut shells everywhere. He was probably the only regular there. This was fine because the owners never seemed interested in making chit-chat, and he only knew they knew him because they’d deliver his order with him just raising a finger: one bottle of Tiger Beer, one bottle of Guinness Stout, and a mug full of ice.

It had become his de facto after-work pit stop before heading home these past few months. At Flamingo, he would switch his phone off and wind down with his booze, relishing the freedom of being ignored and not having anyone know who he was.

Tonight seemed to be just like any other night, except someone did notice him, and chose to sit next to him. She gaped at him without any attempt to pretend that she wasn’t.

He made it a point to ignore her. However, the lack of response only made her stare at him more intensely. Suddenly, she pinched his arm.

He jerked his arm back in surprise and some of his Tiger Beer spilled onto his lap.

The girl stood up and dug around for tissue paper. “Sorry, mister, I’m so sorry. It’s just that I’ve been dreaming of you for the past few nights and to see you in real life is really freaking me out.”

He shook his head. Chicks are such nutjobs these days, he thought to himself.

“It’s true, dude. And you know what’s even crazier? I dreamt there was a Tiger on your lap and now you’ve spilled Tiger Beer on yourself!”

“Sorry, I’m not interested no matter what your rates are,” he said as gruffly as possible.

“What? You think I’m…? No, you jerk, I’m not a pros. I’m telling you, I’ve seen you in my dreams before.”

Oh Lordy, one of those “psychic” girl types who think they are God’s gift to mankind. “Hey girlie, here’s a tip: don’t tell a guy you’ve just met that you’ve seen them in your dreams. That just comes across as cuckoo.”  He knew he was being an ass but he really wanted to get back to his usual beery solitude.

She glowered at him. “Your name is Jack, right?”

“None of your business.”

“Oh but it is,. You’re Jack, and you just broke up with your long-time girlfriend three months ago. You are becoming just like your father who was an alcoholic. I’ve been sent here to warn you not to go down that path.”

Holy cow. No one knew about his dad except his best friend.

“Did Sam put you up to this?” he whispered.

The girl crossed her arms. “No, you idiot, God did. God tells me to help people in my dreams.”

He covered his face with both hands. He really did not want to deal with this kind of crazy crap. Not on a Wednesday.

“Look, please thank your god for watching out for me, it’s very sweet of him. But now, I’m going home.”

He stumbled out of the bar, but just before he did, the girl grabbed him by his sleeve and shoved a piece of paper with a telephone number written on it into his hand.

“This is what is going to happen. You are going to dream about me tonight. You will find out my name in that dream. And then you will call me.”

He laughed. He would have thrown away the paper, but this would make a hilarious anecdote when he watched soccer with the boys later this weekend.


However, the next morning, he called the girl.

“Eunice?” he asked, voice trembling.

“Hey hubby-to-be!” It sounded like she was smiling over the phone.


T is for There Will Never Be Another You April 23, 2016

Filed under: A-Z Challenge — mel @ 9:00 am
Tags: , , ,

There will be many other nights like this
And I’ll be standing here with someone new
There will be other songs to sing
Another fall, another spring
But there will never be another you

There will be other lips that I may kiss
But they won’t thrill me like yours used to do
Yes, I may dream a million dreams
But how can they come true
If there will never ever be another you?

Yes, I may dream a million dreams
But how can they come true
If there will never ever be another you?


The other day, she thought that she saw him standing in the bus, right in front of her. But it was not him, although it was a him who looked a lot like him. As such, she made it a point to strike up a conversation.

“Hi, sorry, but do I know you? You look awfully familiar…” she asked even though she knew she did not know him.

The guy pointed at himself. “Me?” His voice was higher, raspier, but still quite charming nevertheless.

She nodded and smiled. He always said that was her best feature.

He smiled back. His teeth were straighter.

“I don’t think so but I’m quite forgetful. My name’s Eddie, ring any bell?”

Eddie. E comes after D. D is for David. Is this a sign? she thought to herself.

“Sorry Eddie, it’s just you really look like someone I knew from a long time ago.”

Eddie shrugged his shoulders. “I’ve got one of those faces, I guess.”

There was an awkward silence. She thought about how he would have never said anything anywhere near putting himself down. In the first place, he would have never been on a bus.

“Do I look like anyone you know?” she asked Eddie as a way to fill the space of an unnecessary conversation.

He took a long look at her. “No, I don’t think so, Madam, but are you okay?”

She started tearing up the minute he asked her that question.

Just at that moment the bus jam-braked to avoid a jaywalker and everyone was thrown forward and she ended up in his arms.

He smelled nothing like him either. She started crying as she pulled herself away from him.

“I’m so sorry, Eddie,” she said as she tried to use one hand to dig around her handbag for tissue.

He passed her a packet of tissue and headed for the exit door. “No worries, Miss. I get down at the next stop, but I hope you feel better after this.”

Alone again in the bus, she suddenly remembered that she had seen Eddie before in David’s old family photo taken when they were all teens. Eddie was David’s younger brother was estranged from the family because of his gambling habit. If only she could tell David about this random encounter of his brother, and how kind and gentle he is.

She missed him. She missed him so much.

She felt someone leave, then someone else sit next to her. An old man who looked like what David would look like if he had been able to live 30 more years.

“Hello uncle, do I know you?” she asked, even though she knew she did not know him.


S is for ‘S Wonderful April 22, 2016

Filed under: A-Z Challenge — mel @ 9:00 am
Tags: , , ,

‘S wonderful! ‘S marvelous!
You should care for me!
‘S awful nice! ‘S paradise!
‘S what I love to see!

You’ve made my life so glamorous
You can’t blame me for feeling amorous.
Oh! ‘S wonderful! ‘S marvelous!
That you should care for me!

‘S wonderful! ‘S marvelous!
That you should care for me!
‘S awful nice! ‘S paradise!
‘S what I love to see!

My dear, it’s four-leaf clover time
From now on my heart’s working overtime.
Oh! ‘S wonderful! ‘S marvelous!
That you should care for me!

How I want my hair? I don’t know. What you think? Just a trim? No? Something different. No lah, I where got adventurous, I’m just damn tired can. I have so many white hairs now wah lao. What? Colour pink? You sure or not? Ok lah, up to you. Just not too short ok? Yah, like this can. You sure pink ah. Will it dry my hair up? No? Made in Germany? Ok. Wah, thanks for free serum.

Eh, you look younger now leh, like Korean actor like that, can share secret with me can? Wah, pomelo juice, really ah? Maybe I also try. Yes need lah, old liao already. No lah I where got in my 20s only hee hee you ah. Thank you thank you, I haven’t gone facial long time still can pass off as 20-something not bad already lah.

No lah I where got natural beauty? Everyday just wear shorts, T-shirt and spectacles what. What to do? Housewife mah. Become housewife sure turn into unglam auntie one. I tell you, no point blowdry poof poof my hair until Indonesian socialite for what? Come home to chasing three kids around, hair sure go frizzy and sticky lor.

Wah the hair colour is really very pink hor? Hope my hubby don’t freak out. He already so grumpy when I tell him I need to cut hair because the weather so hot.  I told him if I don’t cut my hair then I don’t do housework lor…what to do, that is the only way to keep that bugger off my back.

How’s  Nancy? How I know. Don’t know and don’t care hrmpf! Nancy and I no longer friend each other liao.

You know why? I really cannot take her showing off all the time lah. You remember when we came together the last time? You remember right, I know you do, don’t just stand there and smile silently lah.  That Nancy ah, she had to keep flicking her hair around to show how much shiner her hair is next to my broomstick hair lor…really cannot take it. This kind of thing also must compete, as if always comparing our husband’s pay and kids’ exam results are not enough. She got a lot of time to spare lor! Yah lah, yah lah, I know, we used to be good friends. Yah lah yah lah, I know, her mother has been sick and her older son has been diagnosed as autistic. Ok lah, I message her later. But only for you hor.

Done? What? Another hour? Talk to me leh.


(I’m writing this in Singlish, my de facto form of communication. It has been a sapping week and this is about all I can manage for now.)